3 SIMPLE WAYS TO INCREASE JOY ‘JOY TO THE WORLD/JOY TO YOU AND ME’
2. MOVEMENT You may have to alter your workout routine to fit the colder temperatures, but it’s worth it to keep those endorphins flowing through winter. Functioning as “the body’s natural painkillers,” endorphins are a quick dose of happy with minimal effort. A Harvard study found that just 35 minutes a day of fast walking, five times a week, diminished the symptoms of mild to moderate depression. Working out under bright light further increased these positive effects, so find a well-lit gym. 3. SMILE Like exercise, the simple act of smiling can actually create endorphins. There are additional brain boosters emanating from your smile. The act releases a winning combination of dopamine and serotonin, natural antidepressants that relax your body and even lower blood pressure. Who knew such a simple movement had so many benefits? If you’ve been finding this last, happiness-inducing act challenging because you’re not satisfied with your smile, there’s something to be done. Contact Team Demas to discuss orthodontic treatment options and find the path towards a happier winter season, and a smile-filled life.
Winter ushers in a magical time of decorated front yards, festive events, and family gatherings. But for some of us, it also ushers in a whole season of feeling blue. Cold weather and fewer sunny days keep us indoors and less active than we usually are, and we miss the benefits of sunlight and outdoor activity. When you’re struggling to find joy this season, there are simple steps you can take to promote positive feelings in your brain. Here are a few scientifically backed ways to do it. 1. LIGHT THERAPY When it’s too cold to go outside, bring the light indoors. Spending 30 minutes a day exposed to artificial light, like that from a light box, can simulate the benefits of natural sunlight. If you have trouble waking up during dark mornings, try a dawn simulator that slowly increases brilliance to resemble the sunrise. An app can easily be downloaded to your phone, or purchase an alarm clock version. Both have been reported to improve morning wakeups.
TAKE A BREAK
CHRISTMAS STAR COOKIES
Looking for something a little lighter to leave for Santa this Christmas Eve? Try these star cookies! And, as an added bonus they’re paleo-friendly!
2½ cups blanched almond flour (not almond meal)
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1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
½ teaspoon Celtic sea salt
5 tablespoons agave nectar or honey
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1. In a large bowl, combine almond flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. 2. In a small bowl, mix coconut oil, agave, and vanilla. 3. Mix wet ingredients into dry. 4. Roll out dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper until ¼ inch thick. 5. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
6. Remove top piece of parchment paper and dust dough with almond flour. 7. Cut out cookies with a small star cutter. 8. Using a metal spatula, place stars on a parchment-lined baking sheet. 9. Bake at 350 F until edges are lightly browned, 5–8 minutes.
Recipe inspired by elanaspantry.com/star-cookies
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